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Syracuse football: Mixed bag for Orange NFL players in week one

Some former Orange players fared better than others in the NFL’s opening weekend.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange’s NFL numbers took a big hit last week when teams made their final cuts to the 53-man roster. But five former Orange players were on active rosters this Sunday when teams took the field for week one.

A look at how they all performed below:

Riley Dixon, P/New York Giants

Dixon got busy in week one, booting five punts in the Giants’ loss to the Jaguars. The punts went for an average of 49.4 yards, with a long of 59. One ended up as a touchback, and none were downed inside the 20 — which is atypical for him.

Zaire Franklin, LB/Indianapolis Colts

The former Syracuse captain made his NFL debut in the Colts’s week one loss to the Bengals, picking up a solo tackle in the process. He’s not in the starting lineup, so opportunities can be limited. Still, Franklin made the most of his time.

Chandler Jones, LB/Arizona Cardinals

Jones continued right where he left off in 2017, and dominated right out the gates in week one of this year. He collected three tackles, one sack and a forced fumble in Arizona’s 24-6 loss to Washington, and proved a disruptive pass-rushing threat throughout the contest.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Cameron Lynch, LB/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lynch and the Bucs took home the win in a 48-40 shootout with the Saints on Sunday. However, Lynch himself did not record any stats in the game. He’s a reserve, but could work himself onto the field more regularly, as he has in the past.

Justin Pugh, OG/Arizona Cardinals

Pugh still needs to earn that big paycheck in his new contract, at least based on early results. The Cardinals offense only put up six points and 24 rushing yards, while allowing two sacks in a loss to Washington.


Shamarko Thomas should join these ranks next week as the Denver Broncos planned to bring him back after week one.